It is rare to see deals, loyalty, and rewards services in Africa due to currency instability. Proving this wrong, Nigeria-based ThankUCash, a multi-merchant loyalty and cashback platform has managed to thrive its business.
Recently, ThankUCash has secured $5.3 million seed funding in a round led by 500 Global and Unicorn Growth Capital along with participation from Expert Dojo, Predictive VC, SaaS growth Ventures, Betatron Hong kong, and Accelerex Holding. Also, individual investors – Andrew Dell, former CEO of HSBC Africa and Craig Fenton, Director, Strategy & Operations At Google took part in the round.
ThankUCash will use the funds to expand within its home market Nigeria. Currently, it operates in three cities – Lagos, Abuja, and Port-Harcourt and plans to scale its operations to other cities in the country. Also, it intends to expand to Kenya and Ghana. Apart from expansion, ThankUCash also wants to improve its product portfolio by adding two new products and hire more staff.
Aaron Tindiseega will lead the East African expansion. He has worked as the Country Manager of Uber in Uganda until last year and has also worked at Standard Chartered Bank and Stanbic IBTC. Kiki Anku, who will lead the Ghana expansion, has experience at Apple and has vast experience in the startup world.
ThankUCash CEO Simeon Ononobi said, “We are expanding our products to remittances in all our markets and a ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ infrastructure to power the industry. The technology is such that we have our machines in stores. So as customers request loans, we generate a code for it, customers input it into the POS machine and the merchant gets credited directly. The code can only be used in the store chosen and only for the loan amount requested, such that at the end of the day the customer is buying straight from the merchants.”
Amit Bhatti, Principal at 500 Global added, “Since going through 500 Global’s accelerator in 2019, we’ve been impressed by Simeon and the TUC team’s progress in implementing a rewards system that works for Nigerian consumers, regardless of cash or credit or online or offline payment. It’s a win-win for businesses and banks too, as TUC gives them the tools and data they need to grow. Now as partnerships have expanded their reach to many more potential users and new markets across Africa, we’re excited to support the continued evolution of the company.”
Thank U Cash was founded in 2018 by CEO Madonna Ononobi, CTO Surak Supekar and COO Simeon Ononobi and Harshal Gandole. The startup enables consumers to save and earn loyalty points that can then be swapped for cash. Merchants benefit from the extra spend.
Further, ThankUCash offers cashback on purchases and deals from thousands of merchants. Eventually, it helps merchants retain customer loyalty, increase revenue and grow.
Lagos-based Paystack is one of the biggest rivals of ThankuCash. Apart from this, Flutterwave is one of its top competitors from San Francisco. Another top rival of this loyalty platform is Africa-based VoguePay.
The African multi-merchant loyalty and cashback platform connects customers with businesses in a bid to help businesses grow and prosper while helping customers get the best deals and earn some cash on every purchase made. Eventually, it is a win-win situation for both businesses and customers.
As of now, ThankuCash employs 45 staff and has recorded over 600,000 users and onboarded over 1,000 stores on its platform. Also, it has processed over $80 million in terms of transaction volume.
Sneak peek into products!
ThankuCash wants to make it fun for users to spend with its products ranging from the ‘cashback’ product where you get more customers, to ‘deals’ where you get to sell off your products quickly or ‘buy now pay later where you get to sell your products whether or not the customers have money, and even ‘remittances’ where you can sell yourself to the diaspora.
ThankUCash will provide the tech infrastructure, which will connect merchants with credit/loan facilities such that customers can pay directly for goods and services through the ThankUCash super App with loans from credit facilities. Its signature cashback product has helped merchants retain customers and has encouraged the team to come up with more products for expansion.
The company has signed a partnership with Interswitch to onboard all its merchants and improve their numbers. Also, it is eyeing to add Wema Bank and about seven other national and multinational bank partnerships soon. The ultimate vision for ThankUCash is to create sustainable solutions for SMEs/merchants to succeed while increasing customer buying power.